Rock Solid Treasure Chest - Memory Verses Semester FOUR Coming
Gleanings From Semester One
Top Ten Study Techniques
Lesson One - The need for a personal foundation.
As we begin the course, we begin at the very heart of the course, which is our relationship with Jesus as our rock. Rock Solid focuses on getting the basics right, BEFORE the storms come, for you can be sure that they will. Living as a mature Christian, is living not by circumstances, but by faith hew out of the rock.
Jesus: The Rock
And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church,
and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18
Jesus is the Rock on which the Church is built. Some have mistakenly thought that in Matthew 16:18 Jesus was applying the word “rock” to Peter. The name “Peter” is Petros, a reference to a small stone, perhaps like a pebble. The word “rock” in this verse is petra, a large rock, actually like a rock ledge that sticks out of a mountain. The confusion has come because both words came from the same root. Actually, the Church is built on Peter’s statement “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16).
The Church is not a dead institution, though some churches are dead.
The Church is alive because it’s built on Jesus, the Son of the living God.
The Church is alive because it’s made up of individuals who believe that Jesus is the Son of God and who have accepted Him into their hearts.
When the Church is built on Jesus, it is as solid as a rock. Jesus is the original church planter and church builder, for He said,
“I will build.” Also, the Church is continually being built, for the statement
“I will build” contains a future tense verb that means “continually being built.” He’s doing it today.
Finally, the Church belongs to Jesus; He called it “My church.” When you’re in Jesus, you’re in the Church; and when you’re in Jesus, you’re on the Rock.
Matthew 16:13-28 The church is being built by Jesus.
“Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily”.
Col. 1: 28-29
The Apostle Paul was a very important figure in the Bible, in fact his influence is unique. Whilst he had a personal encounter in the form of a revelation of Christ on the road to Damascus, he never had the privilege of walking with him like the disciples did. So where did such understanding come from?
His special revelation came to Paul by the Lord regarding God’s order and pattern. A big slice of the New Testament was influenced by Paul. Most scholars of the bible agree that Paul wrote at least 13 books in the NT. Taking the lowest commonly agreed contributions by Paul, we can assign 28% of the NT.
Paul had unique task given to him by Chirst which he never deviated from the three-fold message wherever he taught. Col 1:28-29
1. He warned "every man"
2. He endeavored to reach "every man"
3. He aimed to present "every man" mature and perfect in Christ,
Paul methodology was secure, unwavering and with a mandate from Christ himself, guided by The Holy Spirit.
Paul laid the foundation. Heb 6
Paul was a wise, master builder. 1 Cor 3:7-10
He taught the same in every place.
We are called to follow Paul as he followed Christ. 1 Cor 11:1
He had priorities for the men who were under his charge.Here he set forth his manner of function, by providing food for our appropriate level of maturity:
Foundation of birth
Foundation for ministry use
We must follow a clear balanced diet plan to grow in Christ, and that must start by digging down to the rock and then building a solid foundation on which to build. STORMS will come, but the house not on solid rock will falter and fall. ROCK SOLID will inspect your foundations and help clear away the rubble between ones self and the rock.
LESSON 2-3 Repentance part 1/2. THE FOUNDATIONS
“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rock descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell; and great was the fall of it”. Matthew 7:24-27
A. Pictured here are the pressures and storms of life that can destroy the improperly built house or the house that does not have a proper foundation.
B. The outpouring of God’s blessings can also bring disaster then there is no foundation to receive it. As a river that has no river bed. The river bed is the foundation for the river. God has purposed that a river flow out of His house.
Paul continually spoke regarding the foundation and its importance.
A. “As a wise master builder I have laid the foundation”. 1 Cor. 3:10
B. Can we say that we are wise master builders in our local church and that we have laid a solid and secure foundation?
C. Do we really understand what the foundation is?
D. Do we understand how the foundation is laid in the lives of people and in the church?
E. Many ministers of the Gospel have emphasised the foundation now and then, but have not had a systematic method for laying a foundation.
F. The people must have a solid foundation laid before they become part of the church and experience being built together.
G. True governmental structure in a church must be established. This is part of a church’s foundation.
H. A church must have an orderly and systematic way of laying the foundation.
“For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church”. 1 Cor. 4:17
A. Paul had a systematic method for establishing churches.
B. He taught the same thing in every church.
C. He could say he had kept back nothing that was profitable.
D. The laying of a foundation is of absolute importance in the life of a church and is also of great profit.
The church is prophesied to have a solid foundation.
“Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste”. Isa. 28:16
The foundation has six great and costly stones.
A. They are recorded and listed in Hebrews 6:1-2. This is the divine impartation of the life of Christ.
“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God. Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgement”.
B. These foundation stones are spiritual experiences that must be securely established in peoples’ lives.
C. The foundation stones are related to our relationship with Christ.
D. “Nevertheless, the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity”. 2 Tim. 2:19
The principle of Repentance - Has far reaching consequences for us all. We must filter everything through a life which is sensitive and maliable to Gods word and spirits leading.
The church today is facing external pressure like never before. The world view rarely accommodates Gods word, and as in Paul's day, we too must cleave to sound doctrine and an unmovable grasp of sound doctrine. We cannot go onto maturity until we embrace these six foundational truths.
LESSON FOUR- FAITH TOWARDS GOD
As we have observed in the previous two studies on repentance, the six foundational truths are essentially linked into providing a solid foundation on which to build our faith. We cannot "go on" to maturity without building the foundations. We don't "FIX" them up like a renovation job, they are unearthed and re-laid correctly.
When we come to Christ, we remove all the rubble from our lives prior to building anything significantly in our relationship with him. We call this "repentance". Yet repentance requires us to move to 'FAITH" in God, and this study shows us why we need that change.
For the full diagram CLICK HERE
“When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”(Luke 18: 8)
We need faith at all times Having a need of faith is rooted in the grace of God, and Grace is God’s gift for faith
EPHESIANS 2:8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago
The Latin phrase "Gratia facit fidem", says: Grace creates faith.
THE GREATEST RESISTANCE TO FAITH IS DOUBT
Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God said, 'You shall not eat of any tree of the garden'?" And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit from the trees of the garden; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You will not eat of it, nor will you touch it, or else you will die.' " Then the serpent said to the woman, "You surely will not die! For God knows that on the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil" (Gen. 3:1-5).
THE PROCESS OF DOUBT
1. DECEPTION Notice how Lucifer, now Satan, deceived Eve. He made her doubt the Word of God by making these three core statements:
"Has God said, 'You shall not eat of any tree of the garden'?"
"You surely will not die!"
"You will be like God."
2. LIES / UNTRUTH Jesus said that Satan is a liar and the father of lies. "He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies" (John 8:44).
3. PROGRESSION Notice the progression of Satan's fatal suggestions:
First, he injected into Eve's mind through concerning what God had said.
Secondly, he then outright to Eve's face what God said.
Thirdly, he man and told her that she would be as God (PRIDE)
Pride ultimately resists FAITH, and it is progressive if not halted by FAITH
MAN REFUSES TO ACKNOWLEDGE GOD AS GOD
MAN REFUSES TO LISTEN TO GODS WORD AS GODS WORD
MAN REPLACES HIMSELF ON THE THRONE AS GOD OVER GOD
Faith PLEASES God, Faith MOVES God, Faith INVOLVES God. Faith BUILDS Godly character into our LIFE and Faith, Comes BY HEARING Gods WORD.
LESSON FIVE - THE DOCTRINE OF BAPTISMS
Hebrews 6:1-2 (NKJV) 6 … the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms…
Both these ordinances found in the new testament, form the foundation of faith for the Christian believer. They are fundamental steps toward being spiritually equipped and experiencing true conversion (by faith) and our Kingdom expression. There is a world of difference between "seeing the kingdom" and "entering it". This study provides informed access to these important requirements.
The doctrine of baptism is about transition - out of an old way of living into a totally new way of living. It is total immersion. All of our being is involved.
TOP 10 STUDY TIPS
Study isn't just for the night before an assignment's due or the night before an exam. It's never too early - or too late - to develop good study habits. The sooner you get into a good study groove, the easier everything will be and the more your chances of getting good marks will improve.
Here are our top tips for getting the most out of study. Click each link for more about each tip:
> 1. Pick a place and time
> 2. Study every day
> 3. Plan your time
> 4. Discover your learning style
> 5. Review and revise
> 6. Take breaks
> 7. Ask for help
> 8. Stay motivated
> 9. App it up
> 10. Look after yourself
1. Pick a place and time
Everyone has their own idea about the best place and time to study. Whether it's your bedroom at night or the library after school, find a study space and a regular study time that works for you and stick with it.
Set up your study space - Your study space should be quiet, comfortable and distraction-free. It should make you feel happy and inspired. Decorate it with your favourite pictures or objects. If you want to listen to music or burn incense, pick a space that lets you do that.
Find your best time - Some people work better in the morning. Others work better at night. Work out which time suits you and plan to study then. Don't study much later than your usual bedtime - pushing yourself late at night can make you too tired to study properly.
2. Study every day
If you study a little bit every day you'll be continually reviewing things in your mind. This helps you understand things. It also helps you avoid the stress of last-minute cramming.
Early in the year an hour or two a night might be enough to stay on top of things. Later in the year you might need to study more each day.
If you're finding it hard to find time to study, cut back on some (but not all!) of your other activities. Prioritising study might mean spending less time online, or it might mean cutting back on shifts at work, or giving weekend sport a miss for a while.
3. Plan your time
It helps to have some plans in motion so you can make the most of your study time.
Set alarms - Set alarms to remind you about your study plans. A regular reminder keeps you honest and your plans on track.
Use a wall planner - Stick a calendar or wall planner up so you can see it whenever you're studying. Mark it up with important dates, like exams and assignment due dates. Use it to block out your regular study timetable too.
Make to-do lists - Lists break tasks down into manageable chunks. At the start of the week, make a list of the things that you need to have done by the end of the week. Make a to-do list at the start of each study session too, so that you're clear about what you need to be doing with your time.
Set time limits - Before you start your study session, have a look at your to-do list and give yourself a set time to spend on each task. If you don't get something done in the set time, consider whether it's the best use of your time to keep going with it, or to start working on something else.
4. Discover your learning style
Most of us have a preferred way of learning. Get to know the learning style you're most comfortable with and study in the ways you learn best.
Note that these styles are just a way to think about different studying techniques - they're not hard and fast rules that say you should only study in one way. Try each of these out and see which ways you prefer.
Auditory learners prefer to learn by listening. Try reading your notes aloud and discussing them with other people. You might like to record key points and play them back.
Visual learners prefer to learn by seeing. Try using colours in your notes and draw diagrams to help represent key points. You could try to remember some ideas as images.
Tactile/kinaesthetic learners prefer to learn by doing. Try using techniques like role-playing or building models to revise key points.
5. Review and revise
At least once a week you should go back over the things you've studied in class. Thinking things over can help you to understand the concepts and help you remember when you need them the most.
Quiz yourself - Get a friend or family member to quiz you on key concepts. Offer to help your friends with their work too. Quizzes are great ways to get confident about what you know and find out what you still need to learn.
Make your own study materials - Think up some practice exam questions or create your own flash cards to help you study. This way you learn it all twice: once when you make the study materials and once when you use them to revise.
6. Take breaks
It's important to take breaks while you're studying, especially if you're feeling tired or frustrated. Working too long on a task can actually decrease your performance.
When you take a break, make sure you get away from your desk or study space. A bit of physical activity - even just a walk around the block - can sometimes help you to look at a problem in a different way and could even help you to solve it.
7. Ask for help
If you're stuck on something, or something just doesn't seem to make sense, you can always ask for help. Talk to your teachers or lecturers about the things you don't understand. Talk to your friends and fellow students too.
8. Stay motivated
When you're studying it helps to keep in mind your reasons for doing all this hard work, like a course or career you're working towards. It can help to have something in your study space to remind you of your goals.
You could also decorate your study space with inspirational quotes or photos of people you admire and family members you want to make proud of you.
9. App it up
There are heaps of apps out there for helping students with all aspects of study. Have a chat with your friends and teachers/lecturers to see which apps they recommend.
You should also check out the iTunes Collections page on iPads for Learning (new window), which provides links to Australian Curriculum courses on iTunes U as well as educational apps aimed at high school, middle school and primary school students.
10. Look after yourself
You’ll study better if you take care of yourself. Make sure you eat well and get enough sleep and physical exercise. Don't reward yourself with too many sugary or fatty snacks or push yourself to study late into the night. It’s also a good idea to make sure you drink lots of water when you’re studying.
Memory Verses for lessons 1-8 semester one
Why learn memory verses?
Firstly, as a believer, our doctrine determines our behaviour. One can have an opinion without a change in behaviour, so it is essetnial that we have Gods word as a resource to inform, inspire and direct us.
Secondly, we are transformed by the renewing of our mindset. We cannot truly change our actions without a change in our thinking. Faulty thinking produces faulty behaviour. If we want to become Christ like, we need to "know" the truth, not just hear it.
Thirdly, if Gods word is not memorised, then in times of need, we will not be able to recall it. "Doesn't it say somewhere" is no real defence against faulty thinking. If you recall, when Jesus was tempted by the devil, his repsonse was clear.
Never underestimate the power of a verse of scripture in times of need. If it isn't inside, it can't come out. The Holy Spirit enlightens scriptural understand through revelation.
Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Hide the word in your heart through memorising the scripture. it is a weapon for attack and defence, for yourself and others.
Lesson one Memory Verse
And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church,and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18
Lesson two Memory Verse
Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and long-suffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
LESSON FIVE - The Doctrine of Baptisms
Hebrews 6:1-3, "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again THE FOUNDATION of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of the resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit."
Notice that the doctrine of baptisms is categorized with five other foundational doctrines.
Matthew 3:11 NIV "I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire." 1 Corinthians 12:13 "For by ONE SPIRIT [Spirit Baptism] are we all baptized into ONE BODY."
1. SIN (PAST) 2. POWER (FUTURE)
John 3:5-8 "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God . . . Do not marvel that I said to you, you must be born again. The WIND blows where it wishes, and YOU HEAR THE SOUND OF IT, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. SO IS EVERYONE WHO IS BORN OF THE SPIRIT."
· The original Greek word translated as "wind" is Pneuma.
· The word Pneuma literally means "Spirit," "wind," or "breath."
In every other place where the word pneuma is used throughout the Greek NT, it is translated into English as the word "Spirit," except in this one instance.
The consistent Greek rendering of John 3:8 reads, "The Spirit breathes where it will, and YOU HEAR ITS VOICE … THUS IT IS WITH EVERYONE WHO HAS BEEN BORN OF THE SPIRIT."
The Interlinear Bible also renders John 3:8, "The Spirit breathes where He desires, and YOU HEAR HIS VOICE but you do not know from where He comes, and where He goes – SO IS EVERYONE WHO HAS RECEIVED BIRTH FROM THE SPIRIT."
Can anyone be saved without faith in the resurrection of Christ?
Can anyone be saved without repenting of his or her sins?
Likewise, no one can be saved without believing and obeying the doctrine of baptisms; i.e. "Water and Spirit."
A baptism is a transition - out of an old way of living into a totally new way of living. It is total immersion. All of our being is involved. BAPTIZED INTO
The doctrine of baptisms, water and Spirit, is foundational to experiencing true conversion. There are many passages that proclaim the essential nature of both experiences.
Titus 3:4-5 (N.K.J.V.)
But when the kindness and the love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit
LESSON SIX -THE HOLY SPIRIT (to come)
In this study, I make mention of a book which formed part of my early understanding and discovery of the person of the Holy Spirit, by Dennis and Rita Bennett. It is readily available for purchase online, here is an online link to the p.d.f.
Please note: Due to drive space some files are unavailable
Hebrews 6:1 says, "Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection."
What if the gospel concentrates solely on the messenger and overlooks the message He brought?
What if this focus overlooks the power brought by the messenger?
All the good news becomes about Him and His importance to the process.
Our Concentration is on the Messenger,
We will believe that salvation comes merely because we believe in the Messenger. Matthew 7:21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven
The messenger and the message REVEAL THE FATHER
The message that Jesus Christ brought, (the GOOD news of the gospel) is about The Kingdom of God, the culmination, the goal, the fulfillment of the message.
The gospel does not specifically concentrate on Christ, yet we do not want to denigrate the majour role He plays either.
The process , though its ultimate purpose will end when He delivers the Kingdom to the Father
I Corinthians 15:24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.
The Messenger became the high priest and we are saved through his message.
Christianity has to go beyond the fact that He was the Messenger.
Now He is the High Priest in heaven. And though He is High Priest, to make in relation to the Kingdom of God.
That is why Hebrews 6:1 says, "Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection."
While we must try to imitate Him, we have to go on to perfection, to completion, because the process is not complete with just believing in Jesus Christ.
Heb.6:1-3 “Let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation …”
Eternal Judgement is a key foundation in the life of believer.
Judge = to separate, to distinguish, to see through.
Current Judgements – these occur in our time:
Over the past few months taught, ALL Authority comes through the chain of command.
Ephesians clarifies where we SIT, on what we stand and how we WALK.
All these aspects are crucial to our spiritual warfare:
SIT Ephesians 1:20, 2:6
Our Stand Ephesians 4:1, 17, 5:2, 8, 15
Our Walk or Life – Ephesians 6:11
Our Warfare the goal is to produce casualties , many Christians aren’t even walking in right ALIGNMENT, let alone STANDING against the enemy.
Casualties such as – Mistrust, Rebellion, Gossip, (Missing in action). Disobedience, Cares of World, Prosperity,
We gain access to the authority which comes through relationship with Jesus Christ, We must abide in Him. (Abiding produces FRUIT) John 15.
If our FOCUS is on the wrong KINGDOM, we see the GOLIATH, NOT THE DAVID
The keys to understanding the tactics of our ENEMY is by 4 KEY Factors:
1. ASSOCIATION (WHERE WE SIT STAND WALK)
Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9 And He has made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to bring all things in heaven and on earth together in Christ.…
2. ALIGNMENT (IN CHRIST, UNDER AUTHORITY, HONOURING, GODS PURPOSE) Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. (Resisting powers are to resist God)
3. REVELATION (KNOWLEDGE IN ITSELF IS NOT REVELATION)
Ephesians 1:17 (NASB) 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the [a]knowledge of Him.
1. God will GIVE us a SPIRIT of WISDOM
2. And REVELATION (The Holy Spirit REVEALS truth) But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. John 16:13
3. IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIM…. Not ABOUT him, but IN HIM
John 16:12 I still have much to tell you, but you cannot yet bear to hear it. 13 However, when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak what He hears, and He will declare to you what is to come.14 He will glorify Me by taking from what is Mine and disclosing it to you.
THE ONE ESSENTIAL TO SALVATION IS THE REVELATION OF CHRIST.
Proverbs 18:21 (CSB) Life and death are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Matthew 12:37 (NKJV) 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
The power of our confession is what justifies or vilifies Gods provision.
Revelation 12:1 "And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.
Our warfare is often unseen, but is never the less real. As believers, we speak of what is unchangeable - Gods Word. The changed life, is true testimony to a life in CHRIST.
LESSON NINETEEN THE FAMILY
ORDER starts with SELF CONTROL – RELATIONAL HARMONY – FAMILY ORDER -
Koinonia is a transliterated form of the Greek word, κοινωνία, which means communion, joint participation; the share which one has in anything, participation, a gift jointly contributed, a collection, a contribution.
The FAMILY is often our first introduction to Gods design for us.
Many don’t have the benefit of a positive experience, or a role model of how the family should function. Never the less, Gods design for mankind is still true.
Psalm 68:5 Father of the fatherless, and a defender of the widows, is God in His holy habitation. 6 God settles the lonely in families; He leads the prisoners out to prosperity, but the rebellious dwell in a sun-scorched land.
Understanding WHY the family is so important to GOD, enables us to understand WHY the CHURCH is part of His ETERNAL plan, and why JESUS is coming back for it, as His BRIDE and REWARD.
THE CHURCH – THE KINGDOM – THE FAMILY all represents GOD’S MODEL for spiritual ORDER and FUNCTION – A dysfunctional FAMILY creates a dysfunctional CHURCH / KINGDOM.
Currently in NZ the Abortion Law is being read in Parliament with the intention on reforming it. The proposed amendments and what NZ'ers say, is found on this discussion paper below. Each person is presently been given an opportunity to have our say. I encourage everyone to take that opportunity by filing a submission. DOWNLOAD
LESSON TWENTY CHURCH RESTORATION
When we consider the impact that a worldwide philosophy can have on us, we must ensure our understanding comes from a God centered belief system. As we have already seen in this series, we interchange words like, Church, Family, and Kingdom. As a believer in Christ, we acknowledge that Jesus came to redeem mankind, not the world as we know it.
Gods plan for man is to express His kingdom in the way we live.
In this study we look at Gods restoration plan.
You take a vintage car or antique and turn it into a modern version or custom hot rod, but if you want to restore it back to it’s original status, you need to make it exactly as the ‘maker’s design and plans. So it is with each of us. The original plan for mankind was seen in the creation in the garden of Eden.
Since the first Adam broke the initial sinless union with God, the plan of redemption and restoration was revealed through Christ. Therefore; Gods influence and order, encompasses:
THE INDIVIDUAL (my relationship with Him)
THE FAMILY (Gods order in the family)
THE CHURCH (Gods order in the church)
THE KINGDOM (Gods order in His kingdom)
Restoration then, must begin within us. John 3 outlines our need to be born again (spirit salvation) and entrance to kingdom living via baptism in The Holy Spirit and Water Baptism (by immersion).
This is the foundation of our salvation, but each one of us must seek ongoing salvation as we are transformed. Philip 2:12
Acts chapter three instructs us of Christs retention in heaven until the restoration of "all things". This study shows us Gods plan for restoration naturally and spiritually. (Israel and Church).
There are two KEY aspects to restoration:
The Messianic Kingdom (Israel) Deliverance from Gentile oppression Amos 9:14 and 15
Those Born INTO the Kingdom of God John 3
"Jesus Christ became Incarnate for one purpose, to make a way back to God that man might stand before Him as He was created to do, the friend and lover of God Himself." - Oswald Chambers
"By a Carpenter mankind was made, and only by that Carpenter can mankind be remade." - Desiderius Erasmus
LESSON TWENTY ONE THE LOCAL CHURCH
When one enters the kingdom of God through new birth, we automatically become part of the wider (global) vision of the body of Christ. We are born into the kingdom which expresses itself through a body of believers worldwide, but connected on a daily basis is through a local church.
It is within this local body that we learn how to live, work and relate to other believers as a family unit. We grow and mature as we are jointed in a bodily expression called "The Church".
Many of the day to day issues are outworked through ongoing relationships, and those who form part of the local church are truly blessed to be part of this kingdom expression.
Gods plan was to reveal this pattern through His word:
All true believers in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord are part of the universal OR GLOBAL church.
The universal church expresses itself in local assemblies which form the church in the geographical areas in which these believers reside.
The early church did not provide a multiplicity of churches, denominations, or cultural preferences; but rather ONE church in each City, and rarely in the form that we expect of a church meeting today. Often meetings were behind closed doors (in homes, workplaces or places only known to fellow believers).
LESSON TWENTY TWO - Ascension Gifts
As God establishes his order in us, He also provides order to his house. As we have affirmed in previous studies, the Kingdom, The Church and The Family, are a direct representation of His character /nature, and order of things.
God has chosen to place governance and order to his body, and as such, has arranged and chosen specific individuals and ministry gifts to build His body .
These ministries are called "ascension gift" ministries for in Ephesians 4:8, it is said that Jesus in ascending far above all heavens to be seated at the right hand of the Father, Heb. 10:12, poured out His Holy Spirit, Acts 2:33, and as well as giving gifts of the Spirit, or "spirituals", 1 Cor. 12:1, He gave gifts of men or ministries.
These five ministries listed are seen to be the continuation of the ministry of Jesus Christ on earth. He was the greatest apostle, prophet, pastor, teacher and evangelist.
Ministries in the church were seen to be evident and in God's timing, the men called by God for particular work were set apart at the direction of the Holy Spirit and confirmed into the task set before them. See Acts 13:1-4.
A word used in relationship to building his body is "Katartismos" which means "complete furnishing, equipping". It has it's origins in the ship building industry and emphasizes a shipwrights capacity to "fit together" wood pieces of all manner of shapes and sizes in constructing a ship "fit for service" on the high seas.
This image is better understood when we consider the Church and wider body of Christ being "pulled together" and each person "fitted into" their appropriate place of appointment within the totality of the vessel as a whole.
When each ministry gift is functioning on the project as a whole, the necessary parts come together in a common purpose. These collective ministries have a three-fold objective:
For the perfecting of the saints. Ephesians. 4:12
For the work of the ministry.
For the edifying of the body of Christ.
One must note; that education alone does NOT equip a person for ministry. We may cite all manner of certificates, courses and training, but that does not qualify us for being called. Preparation IS ESSENTIAL, but God chooses severally as He wills...
The Apostle Paul, after fathering more churches e.g. Ephesus - Acts 19, was able to write to them in later years. "Paul an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus." Ephesians. 1:1
Those who are called to the high service of building the body of Christ are favoured indeed. However, we must be content with "the will of God," and seek to support those charged with such responsibility.
1 Timothy 5:17 E.S.V.
Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.
Hebrews 13:17 E.S.V.
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 E.S.V.
We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labour among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.
LESSON 25 - Why Communion?
Where did Communion come from? -
There are 2 Ordinances which Jesus established. He instructed His followers to use bread and wine to remember the sacrifice He was going to make when He died for our sins on the cross
Jesus referred to Himself as “the bread of life,” which means that we’re nourished by Him, we survive because of Him, and He satisfies us when everything else leaves us empty (John 6:48-51).
There’s a divine connection between our closeness to Jesus, believing in Him, and being fulfilled by Him (John 6:35).
The early Church celebrated Jesus by taking communion, sometimes every day (Acts 2:42-46). They saw that every time they gathered around a table to eat and drink, it was a chance to recognize Jesus and thank God for all He’s done.
Every time we gather around bread and wine, in church or in our homes, we remember Jesus is the one who provides all we need.
Why Christians Take Communion?
It’s not so much about the bread and wine; it’s about the body and blood of Jesus.
It’s not about the ritual or method; it’s about listening and doing what He says.
Communion is not an obligation, but a celebration.
Communion celebrates the Gospel: Jesus was broken for us so that we can be fixed.
It’s not about the ritual we revere, but a person to worship.
Jesus is not concerned about the method of celebrating communion, but that we celebrate it.
There are many promises in communion and all are accessed by faith in the finished work of Christ
LESSON 27 - Presbytery and Laying Hands on people
We can summarise this study into three key applications:
(a) Identification in substitutionary sacrifice.
In the OT, worshipers were required to place their hands on the head of the sacrificial animal (for example, Lev. 1:4; 3:2; 4:4; 8:14; 16:21; Num. 8:12). This was done so that the worshiper could personally identify with the animal as being a sacrifice on his behalf, or a death for his own atonement and forgiveness or for that of the people of Israel.
(b) Commissioning to service:
(i) At God's instruction, Moses laid hands on Joshua, commissioning him to lead the sons of Israel after Moses' departure (Num. 27:18, 23). Apparently this laying on of hands also contributed to Joshua's being filled with the spirit of wisdom (Deut. 34:9). (ii) The sons of Israel were to lay their hands on the Levites, commissioning them to service (Num. 8:8-11).
Similarly, in the New Testament, hands were laid on people in a number of different instances.
(a) There were occasions when the gift of the Holy Spirit was imparted by prayer and /or the laying on of hands (Acts 8:14-17; Acts 9:17-18; Acts 19:1-7).
(b) Commissioning for service:
i) When the apostles commissioned the proto-deacons, they did so by means of prayer and the laying on of hands (Acts 6:1-7).
(ii) When certain prophets and teachers were ministering to the Lord and fasting in Antioch, the Holy Spirit told them to separate Barnabas and Saul to the work unto which He had called them. They did so by means of fasting, praying, and laying hands on the two appointees (Acts 13:1-3).
(iii) Timothy was bestowed a spiritual gift by means of prophetic utterance and the laying on of hands by the presbytery (1 Tim. 4:14). Presumably this gift enabled him to serve others in the church.
(iv) Paul warned Timothy not to lay hands too quickly upon an elder and thereby share in the sins of a man not qualified to be elder (1 Tim. 5:22).
(v) Paul urged Timothy to kindle afresh the gift which he had received through Paul's having laid his hands upon Timothy (2 Tim. 1:6).
(i) Jesus frequently, if not always, laid His hands on sick individuals in the process of healing them (Mark 5:22-23; 6:5; 7:32; 8:23; Luke 4:40; 13:13).
(ii) There were occasions when, in the apostolic era, healing was performed by means of the laying on of hands (Acts 9:10-12, 17-19; 28:8).
The writer does not wish to lay again the foundation of instructing his readers about laying on of hands, for he probably had in mind the O.T.
practice of laying on of hands, for it was apparently to the OT practices of Judaism his readers were contemplating returning, denying their profession of faith in Christ. However the continuity of NT practice, based upon OT practice, cannot be ruled out of the discussion. All these gifts are to SERVE the body and build the kingdom
LESSON 29 Covenants part 2
The Bible contrasts two very different kinds of ministries. In 2 Corinthians 3:6 apostle Paul says that we are ministers of the New Covenant, of the Spirit and not of the letter.
Paul contrasts between the New Covenant as the fulfilment of the promises made to Abraham, (which he calls the “ministry of righteousness,”)
and the particular the law given on Sinai to Moses—which he designates as the “ministry of condemnation.”
It is important to contrast between them because each kind of ministry produces its own kind of fruit in those it is sown.
Some theologians claim that there are two stages of justification:
(initial and final) and that the so-called “initial justification” is by:
grace alone (sola gratia) through faith alone (sola fide)
and the so-called “final justification” through Spirit-wrought sanctification, faithfulness, or good works
Which ever conviction one may take, the power of the new covenant assures us that faith along with grace empowers us to live in its freedom.
Jesus built the bridge between old testament law and new testament grace.
The new testament believer has entered into a new and everlasting covenant,
and by it, God's ultimate intention, to bring many sons to glory (perfection - maturity) will surely come to pass. The new covenant is written on the hearts of the believer.
"Now the God of peace, that bought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." Heb. 13:20, 21.
The New Covenant is seen here to be entirely different to any of the old covenants. In saying - "They shall be my people" God is saying He will create a new race of people, and unite them to Himself forever. 2 Cor. 5:17
"The people that shall be created shall praise the Lord." Ps. 102:18.
Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
The "new covenant" is our inheritance and assurance that we no longer use the law to justify our behaviour. This "new" promise, is the basis of our relationship with Christ.
Knowing that the lesson which the law teaches us, is "we will never again justify our status on legalism, effort or law", BUT on faith, hope and love.
Love in service of being loved.
in conclusion of PRAISE and WORSHIP -
"Through Christ then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of the lips that give thanks to his name." (Heb. 13:15)
Here is another spiritual sacrifice which pleases God--praising him and thanking him for all that he is and all that he does for us.
The practice of thankfulness to God is stressed over and over again in the New Testament (1 Thess. 5:16-18; Col. 3:15-17).
Why is this? Does God need our gratitude so that he can feel good about himself?
Such a view obviously does not befit the God of the Bible--He is the only being in the universe who is completely self-existent and therefore needs nothing.
We add nothing to God by praising and thanking him.
God is indeed pleased by our gratitude, but the ones who benefit from this practice are us!
Praise and worship develops in us the focus, the character and the nature which God in His grace chooses to inhabit.
LESSON 26 - The Gifts of The Holy Spirit
In this study we want to make the distinction between The GIFTS of The Holy Spirit and the FRUITS; Whilst focusing on The Gifts.
Whilst many theologians differ in the number of Gifts of The Spirit, all confer with the definition of the nine seen in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
One practical way to understand the GIFTS, is to see them from a practical classification:
CLASSIFICATION OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS –
3 REVELATION Gifts– 3 POWER Gifts – 3 UTTERANCE Gifts
REVELATION – WORD WISDOM, WORD KNOWLEDGE, DISCERNMENT
POWER – FAITH, MIRACLES, HEALING
UTTERANCE – PROPHESY, TONGUES, INTERPRETATION
Further classification is made in a comprehensive study of scripture, which can classify spiritual gifts in three wider catergories. These categories include ministry gifts as given in Ephesians 4 :
Miraculous Gifts -
Faith 1 Corinthians 12:9
Discernment 1 Corinthians 12:10
Wisdom 1 Corinthians 12:8
Knowledge 1 Corinthians 12:8
The key purpose in giving gifts to the body is for spiritual maturity and growth (personally and kingdom wise). Gifts are for the benefit of others! If we exercise these gifts in "love" we build one another up. Gifts are "GIVEN" not taken. God gives "as He WILLS" not as we "WANT."
In 2020 we will be looking into and discovering our spiritual gifts in our new course "Pursuit of Freedom".
LESSON 28 - The Covenants of God - Part 1
"For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people."
The ultimate purpose behind the NT covenant is "restoration". We not only KNOW what to do, but are given the power to DO IT.
The distinct difference between our understanding of covenant and Gods INTENT in a covenant is seen throughout the history of the bible. Man has found it almost impossible to maintain it.
The good news about that, is God knew we would be unable to fulfill our part in the covenant and so He built-in obsolescence.
The Old Testament shows us the covenants were a TEMPORARY SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM requiring blood to be shed. The New Testament makes provision for a once and for all sacrifice through Jesus Christs sacrificial act on the cross.
The Old or Mosaic Covenant had THREE fundamental flaws:
A high priest would regularly offer an animal sacrifice for their sins, such sacrifices could never fully and finally secure their forgiveness. “For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” Heb. 10:4
Second, the law of the Old Covenant that came through Moses was unable to supply the power that people needed to fulfil and obey it. Thou shalt, Thou shalt not.
Third, the Old or Mosaic Covenant was temporary. It was designed by God with a built-in obsolescence. God never intended for the Old Covenant to last forever. Hebrews 8:5 “They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, "See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain."
The KEY point, is that with the New Covenant that Christ established and the gift of the Holy Spirit who indwells all its members, we not only know what to do, we also have been given the power and strength to do it.
LESSON 30 Part 1 Praise and Worship
Perhaps no lesson in these studies are more central to the New Covenant, than that of the restoration of "praise and worship". In this fisrt part of a three part study, we look at the distinct differences between the tabernacle of Moses and the tabernacle of David.
Under the old covenant only Moses could enter into the Holy of Holies, yet in the tabernacle of David, we see access to "all believers".
In 1 Samuel 4, …about a hundred years before David came into power, the Israelites were at war with the Philistines.
They weren’t doing well in battle, so they took it upon themselves to bring the Ark of the Covenant out of the Tabernacle of Moses and into battle with them.
They figured that it would bring them victory, but in the end, the Ark was captured by the Philistines and taken back to their city of Ashdod.
The people of Ashdod ended up being judged by God (they were afflicted with tumours), so they had the Ark sent to Gath, who in turn had it sent to Ekron.
Each city having the same fate (haemorrhoids), they finally decided to have the Ark sent back to Israel. Once in Israel, the Ark made its way to Kiriath Jearim, where it stayed until the time of David.
After David had come into power, he decided to bring the Ark back into it’s rightful place – the center of Israel’s worship.
It is at this juncture that we consider the implications of David's actions in following Gods order for worship in the temple. Below is a chart outlining the distinct differences between the tabernacle of Moses and the Tabernacle of David, and its' pattern for us as New Covenant believers.
LESSON 31 AND 32 PRAISE AND WORSHIP
In the Old Testament period, their main function was to carry out the worship of God through the offering of sacrifices. There were essentially two different kinds of sacrifices:
sin offerings, which were offered for moral offenses
and thanks giving offerings, which were offered to express gratitude for God's goodness and blessing
The New Testament tells us that Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament sin offerings through his death (Heb. 9:11-14; 10:1-14); therefore, we need never make such sacrifices to God again.
WHY IS WORSHIP SO IMPORTANT TO GOD?
Lucifer, before the fall, had a ministry in heaven of music and of "directing worship". He was the anointed cherub, covering the throne of God. Isa. 14:12-17; Ezek. 28:12-15. Lucifer, however, fell because of pride and a desire to receive worship for himself instead of directing it to the throne of God.
God longs to share His throne, however, and His purpose in the earth is to raise up sons to fulfil the ministry Lucifer had, now lost to heaven. Not only that, these sons He desires to actually reign with Him. Rev. 1:6; 3:21; 1 Peter 2:9.
It is a certainty that God will not trust His throne to anyone with any tendency toward pride, and true worship and pride cannot co-exist in a believer's heart. Therefore, we must learn what worship is all about. Jesus said that God is seeking true worshippers. John 4:23-24.
WHAT IS PRAISE?
Psalm 100:4 "Enter His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise."Dictionary definition "express warm approbation of; commend the merits of".
Praise in the Bible is largely a function of the soul (i.e. mind - will - emotions). David says "Bless the Lord, Oh my soul" Ps. 103. It involves an acknowledging of God's character, acts, blessings etc. and telling Him.
The diagram below identifies the distinct differences between the OLD TESTAMENT and NEW TESTAMENT,